thanks for the replies so far. so there isn't a bus or subway that is easy to catch where we could go downtown for an hour? we won't have our luggage as it will be checked through. so if we have 4 hours between flights, we figure we have a safe 1 hour to look somewhere in town- IF it isn't more then 15/20 min from the airport. Is this possible? Not into shopping expensive stores in the airport... hubby has never seen london before, so a walk through any of it for a bit would be something neat for him. thank you so much :) will take tips on bringing a sandwich with us...
Jerry Heathrow Express will take you to Paddington in 15 minutes. The timetable is here. https://www.heathrowexpress.com/timetable-schedule It's not cheap and it's obviously up to you whether you think the cost and hassle is worth the bother. If you just want to get out of the airport and get some reasonable food there is a nice pub on the Bath Road. There menu is on the web so you can see if you fancy anything. http://oldenglishpub.co.uk/ The 140 and 285 buses run from the airport to the Bath Road and are free to that point. Alan
Jerry: Here's the problem: you do not have 4 hours. If your plane lands on time (very big "if") it may take 15 or more minutes before you actually get off the plane. Then you have to walk, following the signs, to Passport Control. This may take 10 minutes. At Passport Control there will be a huge line of other passengers so it could take 30 or more minutes to get through. Then you have to find your way to whatever transportation into London you plan to use, but first buy the tickets. I figure you have now used up an hour. On returning to Heathrow after your visit to the city, you will have to go through security, a very lengthy process and then find your way to your departure gate in time for your flight. The "walk times" to the gates at Heathrow can be as long as 15 minutes. I rest my case.
Thank you- we figure we have about 60 to 90 minutes minimum. we know we don't have 4 hours, but we don't have customs in LHR so that saves a lot of time. Many cities have transportation set up so you can ditch the airport for an hour or two. Frankfurt does, Puerto Vallarta does, Oslo does, Copenhagen does. This is just shortie flight from Oslo, not a long flight in from the US, on our way back to the Us. So trying to learn ahead to save valuable time. Blessings :)
Summary: if you leave the airport you will miss your flight. Question: how much will that cost you?
And to beat a dead horse, you also have not even factored in to this that your outbound flight will begin boarding 40 minutes before its scheduled take-off, and your airline they may close boarding 20-30 minutes before take-off.
thank you for all the tips. the airport is sounding larger then I'm used to dealing with and probably more people then I'm used to lining up behind to get through areas in Seattle or LAX. I'll do some looking online and see what I can find in the airport to use up some time. thanks :)
"We don't have Customs in LHR so that saves a lot of time". Customs takes no time at all. You walk through the "Nothing to Declare" portal and Bob's your uncle. It is Passport Control that takes forever, unless you have a EU passport.
that's good to know about passport control and customs. Customs coming from Mexico to the US usually takes a long time and everyone has to go through them, so that's what I'm used to for customs at LAX. One time we got to bypass customs because they were so incredibly backlogged that they took groups of people and just sent us right out the door after collecting our paperwork without the normal stop, possible scanning and questions.
Heathrow is city all on it's own. Maybe just consider walking around and enjoying this amazing airport. You could always call "Smiths" very reliable and ask them for advice.